Being married to an Argentine citizen should make the process of getting permanent residence straight forward, right? Wrong! Though in theory being awarded residence in such a case is as simple as presenting the correct documents and waiting a few weeks for the permit to be issued, in practice the Argentinian bureaucracy makes getting everything in order a complete nightmare.
This article explains what's required to "tramitar" your residence and presents some real experiences on typical hold-ups.
If at all possible, I recommend using an immigration agency or specialised lawyer to help you with the Argentinian immigration process - the marginal cost incurred will likely save you many hours of wasted time!
If you go-it-alone, this is what you'll need (subject to change - check with migraciones for current requirements):
* All of the above documents (except the passport) that were not issued in Argentina will require an Apostille (apostilla) from an office in your home country. An Apostille is not merely a "verified copy" - it is a seal and signature issued by a special office in your home country that conforms to an international convention of the Hague. Some countries are not parties to this convention - if you're from such a country then contact the Argentinian embassy in your country for further details.
Note: your country's embassy in Argentina cannot normally issue Apostilles so if you're already in Argentina then you'll have to send the documents back to your home country to get them apostilled.
* Any of the above documents that are not in Spanish (including your passport) will require a Spanish translation performed by a translator registered in Argentina and verified by the colegio de traductores.
It seems crazy to need an Argentinian police report if you've never lived in Argentina before but unfortunately that's just the way it is. You can get your antecedentes certificate (as it's called) at the immigration office or at the Registro de Antecedentes but for much of this year there were huge queues at both places and only a limited number of turnos to be given each day - meaning that if you didn't queue from around 6 o'clock in the morning, you'd miss out and have to try again another day.
Once you have all of the documents (originals, Apostilles and official translations), then photocopy them all and take them and the photocopies along to the immigration office
Ask the information desk where you need to go, then take a number and wait (1 hour on a good day or 2-3 hours on an average day). Despite there being about 4-5 tellers to serve the crowd, the workers mostly seem to be content to chat to each other, take long breaks and pretend to be busy with something else. Once your number is called, one of the public servants will look over your documents and most likely tell you that something is missing or incorrect. Your only option is to go away, fix the problem and try again another day (join the queue...) If you get lucky on the first day then congratulations - you've made a new record! (Please let clickArgentina.com know!)
One day when your documents are eventually accepted you'll be allowed to pass through to the coveted "other room" where you'll have to pay a couple of hundred pesos, sign some documents and have your photo and thumbprint taken. Well done - the hardest part is over. You'll be given a residencia precaria and told to come back again in 1-2 months time.
Assuming that nothing dodgy is found with your application, in a couple of months time you'll be the proud new owner of an Argentinian permanent residence certificate, which you can then use to apply for a DNI (national identity document) which will take about another 3 months (another story...)
That's all - easy!
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